Chicken Born Without a Tongue, Has Trouble Breathing and is Very Thin

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by -Alt, Nov 25, 2013.

  1. -Alt

    -Alt Out Of The Brooder

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    Hello,

    One of our seven month old Red Sex Links appears to have been born without a tongue and as a result she is malnourished. We didn't realize she had no tongue until October, and everything seemed fine until not long before that. The chicken, named Puffball, is always sleeping somewhere away from the other chickens with her feathers fluffed out and neck tucked in, hence her name.

    Puffball also seems to have trouble breathing. She acts as though there is something in her throat, and often thrusts her head out with her beak wide open trying to breath, then she throws her head to the ground and shakes it violently. She had been doing this for three months at least, and we have looked down her throat but nothing seems to be there, although we can feel something near the top that we can't see.

    She likes to eat breed, but I fear it will get stuck in her mouth or throat without a tongue to move it, and she doesn't want to get the regular feed we give her. I was wondering if anyone knew of some liquid diet I could give her; something that I could put in a dropper.

    Her crop is always empty before I force feed her bread and egg, so I don't believe it is a compacted crop. It's very cold here in the winters. It was -13° (8°F) last night and she has no fat to keep her warm, and the other chickens don't like to roost beside her.

    Any advice is greatly welcomed!
    -Alt
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    Last edited: Nov 27, 2013
  2. Kelsie2290

    Kelsie2290 True BYC Addict Premium Member

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    You could try tube feeding her for now. Best way to get food into sick birds. https://www.backyardchickens.com/t/...h-my-bird-pics-for-visuals-very-detailed-post
    Are you able to take her to the vet, they may be able to get a better look down her throat at what is going on with her lack of tongue and what that lump is. You also might consider euthanizing her if she is that sick and losing that much weight and can't deal with the cold weather long term.
     
  3. purpletree23

    purpletree23 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I agree with Kelsie2290. Euthanizing her is probably whats best for her. Being cold and wasting away because she is not able to eat is not how an animal should live on this earth.

    We all have to remember that we have to whats best for our animals and not ourselves. I still cry when one of my animals has to be put down but it's best for them.
     
  4. -Alt

    -Alt Out Of The Brooder

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    She has been eating better lately. She's taken a liking to bread which she seems to be able to get down alright, and we're keeping an eye out for a vet but there aren't many around here.

    We've given them a heating lamp to help with the cold, and I will look in to feeding tubes.
    Thanks for your advice!
    Alt
     
  5. -Alt

    -Alt Out Of The Brooder

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    I can't stand the thought of putting her down, but I'm not the one standing out there on one leg shivering. She's been eating better as of late, and we've given the flock a heating lamp which she takes advantage of. She's been breathing better too, so hopefully I can get some weight back on her.

    Thanks,
    Alt
     
  6. pwand

    pwand Chillin' With My Peeps

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    She needs to be brought in to keep her warm being sick. Has she been dewormed and dusted for mites? Check her for Gapeworm. Use a Q-tip down her throat, twirling it around, pull it out to see if it has worms. A sample of her poop can be taken to the vets as well to check it.
     
    Last edited: Dec 15, 2013
  7. -Alt

    -Alt Out Of The Brooder

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    She has not been de-wormed or checked for mites. I had never heard of Gapeworms before but I just looked it up and it describes her symptoms exactly. I will be checking at first light to see if she has them or not, and if I don't see any I'll try to get feces tested anyways.

    A bittersweet diagnosis.

    Thank you for your help!
    Alt
     
  8. pwand

    pwand Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I have read its not common in chickens, however, it does happen. Your very welcome.
     
  9. chickengeorgeto

    chickengeorgeto Overrun With Chickens

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    If your stomach is up to it read about the life history of the gape worm parasite. If more of us knew and understood the life cycle of this chicken pest, I guarantee you that they would not be near as common.
     
  10. Viollettt

    Viollettt Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Let us know how it goes with your girl. I wanted to add that it might help to wet the bread a little with some water to make it easier for her to eat.
     

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